–noun, plural -cies.
the state or quality of being efficient; competency in performance. Accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.
I gaze in awe when I see a clutter filled desk. Ok, maybe its a little shock, then some awe. I am not sure how you clutterers do it. It is like my wine friends that do not keep track of what wines they have but have zero issue pulling the exact bottle they are looking for out of their inventory.
I am also a wee bit flattered when someone looks at me and says "You do not have an assistant?" Nope, I do not. I personally blame it on that efficiency thing.
As you know I love to share resources. If it makes your life a little more fun or easy, I am a happy kid.
I really do not think I can get away with an "How Leslie makes her business a little more efficient" class at a conference, so, enjoy this blog entry instead. There might be some repeat if you have seen me present my Web 2.0 tools class before.
Why? I need to get somewhere and let people know when I will be there.
I have been sharing my love of the Tripit for quite some time. You might not travel as me, but, this will be your buddy even if you only take one trip a year.
It's simple. Create your free account. Any time you get a travel confirmation forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org from the email account you used to sign up for their service.
Tripit will then churn out the email (even if its a .pdf) and create a travel itinerary for you. Hotels, planes, cars. It is all there listed by date.
You can even share the itinerary via email, link or social network. You can also export the information as .ical format to stick into your favorite calendar
How do I use it? Keep track of my travel plans and share my plans with my customers via email.
Why? You never know where note taking will break out or just as important, a need to reference those notes.
Another site you know I love if you have seen me present. Evernote allows you to take notes and sync them to one central online location. You can go with the traditional entry via keyboard using the web or their Mac / PC app or you can use a scanner or webcam to snap your notes / receipts etc. and feed them into Evernote. It all syncs to their server and you can then use a variety of devices to access them. You can have categories as well as subcategories. Anything you scan or take a photo of will be transcribed to text best as possible.
You can do all the things you would expect such as share your notes with others, make them public links, edit them at any time etc.
How do I use it? Outlines for my training classes. Meeting notes. Snapping pictures of things I need to reference later on.
Why? I like lists. A lot.
I am not 100% thrilled with the people behind Remember The Milk right now but it is a wonderful product and will be more wonderful when the App sees the light of day on the iPad.
Remember the milk is the Evernote of ToDo lists. I can create a list using the web or one of their apps, even email and Twitter, SMS and IM and have it sync to their server. I can have categories and priority levels. I can also share lists with other people.
How do I use it? Keep track of everything from groceries, projects, etc.
Why? Cause California does not want me on my phone while I drive.
I do not use Jott as much as I used to and a big part of that is having an app based phone. But, once in awhile I need to get something done and touching the phone is not allowed. Jott is a system that allows you to call a toll free number. Once it answers you have the option to leave a verbal message in a variety of locations which will then be transcribed to text. It supports over 50 services so you can speak into your phone and update your ToDo list, Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Google Calendar, etc. Even Quickbooks but that kinda scares me.
How do I use it? Update my ToDo lists (Remember the Milk) via spoken voice into my cell phone.
Why? I have peeps I work with and projects to track.
I work on a variety of Educational and Business websites and depend on design and development geeks to help me out. Organization is key when you are working with multiple people on multiple accounts. Basecamp is online project management at its best. Basecamp allows me to create project based areas. Within those areas I have threaded messages, to do lists, share files, work on a white board, chat room and much more. I add members simply by using their email and then can assign tasks and files to those email addresses. It also feeds into many online invoicing systems.
How do I use it? Keeps me and my team all on the same page on our projects.
Why? For some reason my team likes getting money for the work I make them do.
If you manage your time hourly, this site is pretty darn slick. FreshBooks is an online time tracker and invoicer. This works somewhat like Basecamp in that when my coders work on a site, they invite me to my invoice for the project on FreshBooks. This allows me to see how much time they spent on each item I have assigned to them in Basecamp. When the work is completed they invoice me with a simple click of a button. I can then use a variety of pay sources (PayPal, etc.) to pay the invoice. They will even send a paper invoice to your customer. They sent me one as a sample. It was pretty.
How do I use it? I click on it, say goodbye to my money but hello to better looking and working websites.
Why? I had ugly invoices and really do not need to track time hourly.
I bounced back and forth on using FreshBooks and Invoicera for my personal invoicing system. For me, I like the layout and customization of Invoicera a little more. Also, expenses for me is an odd thing. I actually have to estimate expenses before the work is done and was having a hard time reflecting that on FreshBooks. Invoicera does everything FreshBooks does but has more of a slant towards customization and a little less on hourly billing. I also like the fact that I can attach .pdf files to my invoice before I email it. Perfect for receipts.
How do I use it? Send invoices to my web and conference accounts.
Why? Because finding good food is well, good.
Food. Glorious food. Yes, there are particular food haunts all over the world that I actually think about dining at while I am on the plane heading there. Many of those sites I discovered from Yelp.
I can use my iPhone to discover close eats near me and more importantly, user ratings. Yelp has been around for years and is really considered the site for foodies to talk about good eats. You can even plunk in your address on their website to find locations that might be within walking distance from you. You bored right now? Please create a Yelp account and share some of your favorite food spots. People like me thank you in advance as well as the establishment that will get additional business because of it. Wait, if its Friday night and you are going there, go now, come back then write the review. Nothing worse than someone on the waiting list in front of you chatting away about the great review they read on Yelp!
How do I use it? I use it to eat food. Well, not like a fork eat food.
Why? Because sharing is caring.
Trying to get files from one person to the other is always fun. Usually the mechanism is email but you never know when you will run into a cap on file size. Dropbox allows me to post files in one central location. You get 2 gigs for free which is wonderful. I use this to store my mission critical presenations just in case something happens to my machine. I also use this to share presentations and files with specific people. All I need to do is make a folder, add the files then enter the email address I want to share it with. I can even set up folders to sync content. The whole thing is pretty cool.
How do I use it? Share more files, pull out less hair.